Jock Lauterer is living proof that Community Journalism extends far beyond your own back yard. A retired senior professor at the UNC school of Journalism, he has taken the field he helped pioneer all the way to China and back. As the retired founding director…
When Patrick Weeks entered UNC Chapel Hill in the fall of 2018 as a Freshman planning to major in Computer Science, the idea that he would be back just a year later intent on studying the Dramatic Arts might have seemed outlandish. However, as I sit with him on the morning of his 19th birthday during the second week of his sophomore year, I wonder how his natural flare for showmanship could lead him anywhere other than the stage.
Patrick is somewhat of an enigma, pulled by his interests in different directions from a young age. He has the rare combination of motivation, humility, and genuine curiosity that make him a quick study in whatever field of interest he finds inspiration to pursue. As a Seventh Grader in Mooresville NC, he became occupied with computers, which led him to build a high performance desktop machine that actually worked. While this fascination with computers proved enduring, he quickly discovered that it was not all consuming. Around this time he also took up an interest in music, and joined the school band playing Tenor Saxophone as well as the Oboe.
Patrick carried both of these passions into high school, where he eventually met his other great love: Theatre. It was during his sophomore year of high school that he appeared in his first play, a production of “Brooke Across the Sea”. He found that he enjoyed being on stage, and continued to act in school productions and local theatre while also playing in the band. As time went by, however, Patrick felt more and more compelled towards the stage. He left the band, and redirected the majority of his focus towards acting. By the time he appeared in a local theatre’s production of “Peter and the Star catcher” during his senior year, it was clear he had caught the acting bug. This is not to say music played no part in his life, however. He began singing and dancing, and continued to develop his natural musical talent in other avenues outside of the formal school band setting.
As much as he enjoyed acting and performing, when it came time to go to college and prepare for a career, Patrick had more practical considerations in mind. His interest in computers remained, and although less fulfilling than a career in the arts, promised a more stable and comfortable financial life. During his first year as a Computer Science major, however, Patrick decided that a cushy salary would never be worth the cost of sidelining his passions. A naturally empathetic person, Patrick also recognized the positive impact his expression could have on the world, and made the decision to dedicate himself to actualizing it. He now studies Dramatic Arts, and is considering a second major in Media and Journalism with that goal in mind.
Social Media has changed everything about the news business, but John Conway knows how to keep up. He shared his strategies in a recent presentation to UNC Journalism students. John Conway has had a long career in digital media. Since graduating from UNC in 1985,…